Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.
Lexi (+8%): Even with a crushing loss at the year’s first major, Thompson never has been better, her full arsenal of shots (and short game!) on display during a wire-to-wire victory in Indianapolis. She’s No. 2 in the world in ranking only.
U.S. Walker Cup team (+6%): That’s one way to banish memories from 2015, rolling up a record-tying 19 points and 12-point margin of victory over one of the better Great Britain and Ireland teams at Los Angeles Country Club.
Matt Fitzpatrick (+4%): Still just 23, he became the youngest Englishman to win four European Tour titles. Would love to see how he fares with a full year on the PGA Tour.
Collin Morikawa (+3%): One of three U.S. Walker Cuppers to post a 4-0 record at LACC, Morikawa, a rising junior at Cal, is this scribe’s pick for breakout amateur star in 2018.
Ernie (+1%): Not a surprise, because the Big Easy has an even bigger heart, but he withdrew from this week’s Euro Tour event to help his fellow South Floridians in the wake of Hurricane Irma.
Lydia Ko (-1%): A sign of progress, perhaps, since she matched Lexi over 36 holes, but being blown away on the final day – and beaten at her own game – shows how much further she must go to return to the top.
Scott Hend (-2%): Winning is hard, but especially for 44-year-olds with a lifetime of competitive scar tissue. Leading by two at the start of the final round, he missed a 5-footer to win in the playoff, then made a sloppy bogey to hand the title to Fitzpatrick.
Plans for Shinnecock (-3%): If you thought that maybe the USGA turned a corner at Erin Hills – where its massive fairways favored the big hitters and created a birdie barrage – then the news that the USGA is reportedly looking into narrowing Shinnecock won’t be received well. News flash: The world’s best will still find a way to score.
Walker Cup format (-5%): Yes, the two-day format makes it unique, but it’s a shame that the competition, after two years of buildup and a week’s worth of practice, is over in 36 hours. GB&I’s lack of depth would be exposed over three days, but the event deserves better spacing.
Nick Price (-6%): Captaining a massive underdog at Liberty National, he needed to swing for the fences with his wildcard picks and wound up with … Anirban Lahiri, who missed the critical 2 1/2-footer in 2015 and doesn’t have a top-15 since June. Ugh.